Hollyland Lark M1 is a very compact set of wireless lavalier clip-on mics. It comes with a charging case and it’s capable of broadcasting both microphone channels independently via stereo 3.5mm output. Both transmitters and the reciever are light weight and minimalistic, yet provide all the vital features such as switchable noise reduction, stereo/ mixed output mode, volume boost and LED status indicators. Extremely small footprint along with an attractive price tag almost makes you wonder if it is missing something, particularly in regards to audio quality. But don’t be mislead because it’s actually very clean and surprisingly low in terms of self-noise!
Lark M1 features
- Small footprint
Lark M1 is so small and compact – it’s almost unreal. The nowadays popular Rode Wireless GO looks simply atrocious and bulky in comparison, and provides no real benefit unless paired with an expensive after-market lavalier. Yes, Lark M1 transmitters also weighs almost nothing… you may forget you’re wearing one.
- Rechargeable case
It comes with a charging case so that your reciever and trasmitters are being charged when not in use. There is a 4-bar LED on the case that shows it’s battery level. Inside the case there are 3 more LEDs for the status of each device. Also, it is barely the size of a computer mouse so it’s very convinient. Aside from the case, each device has its own USB-C port and can be charged separately.
- Furry windshields
A small but nice addition, the mics have custom windshields that can be snapped on for recording outside, helping to negate the wind noise. They have rubber bands underneath and fit tightly onto the mics.
- Noise reduction
Clicking the yellow button on a transmitter activates the noise reduction mode while the LED status changes to green. Switching to this mode on one transmitter also broadcasts to another transmitter. It’s quite useful for noisy environment outside as well as indoor HVAC noise such as air-conditioning. Both modes with or without noise reduction are actually clean and are capable of producing a high quality audio regardless.
- Volume control
There are basically 3 discrete output levels: -0 dB, -6 dB and -12 dB. Simply clicking +/- buttons on the receiver does the adjustment. I personally used it with my computer realtek line-in, input levels adjusted to 100% in sound settings and -0 dB on the device. This gives me a pretty good gain and I’ve never experienced clipping so far.
- Mobile connectivity
Aside from connecting to cameras and computers via 3.5mm TRS to TRS cord, you can also connect to cellphones using the included TRS to TRRS cord. Lark M1 also comes with two additional cables: TRS to USB-C and TRS to Lightning. Having an Android phone I found the TRS to USB-C is the most convinient method, that allows me to use the remaining 3.5mm output for headphone monitoring.
Sound and quality
The sound quality of Hollyland Lark M1 is very good for a budget wireless lavalier mic. It does lack definition and clarity compared to professional standalone lavaliers, but the audio it produces is just as clean and the self-noise is minimal. For miniature and especially budget mics it’s one of the most important factors that makes all the difference between sounding professional and amatuer, because if the mic is noisy it is not easy to clean up the recording. Lark M1 is not particularly bright, nor does it have a lot of low end, which is why I like applying some EQ. It sounds fine for recording conversations out of the box though and it isn’t overly sensitive or ‘hot’, so it works fine in less than ideal or noisy environments.
Since you get two mics – they can be used in stereo mode, so I decided to make an experiment and record some music from my speakers for testing. Above are the results after tweaking the EQ curve. It actually did quite well, although I shouldn’t recommend it for music or other applications that require a lot of detail and accuracy. It is just to show that it works and it’s not bad, especially for a wireless mic. Now when it comes to price, and considering all the features it provides I would rate its performance as excellent. Hollyland Lark M1 is a tough competitor that comes on top in terms of price, quality and footprint. The only drawback being the transmission distance, which is not as good as some of the previously reviewed mics.
- Reviewed at $129.00
- Excellent! - 9.4/109.4/10